Courtesy: All AfricaZimbabwe: Local Futsal Side Go Down
by Roy Matiki7 May 2012
Johannesburg — THE ZIMBABWE five-a-side soccer team were left with a lot of work on their hands after losing to a tactically superior South African side in the second round, first leg of the 2012 Futsal World Cup qualifiers at Wembley Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The Zimbabweans lost 4-2 but the technical team led by Frank Farakezi yesterday vowed to turn the tables in the return leg in two weeks time.
Zimbabwe began their campaign on a positive note when they beat Sudan 5-2 in a one-legged first round tie in Harare.
Their performance in that game gave them reason to believe that they would get a good result in South Africa but Zimbabwe came unstuck in the face of a more fluid attack exhibited by their opponents.
South Africa got the important goals from the boot of captain Gift Mashaba, Ashley Naidoo, Kgotso Tshabedi and Thurston Johnson.
Their coach Quinton Allies was left a satisfied man ahead of the second leg in Harare on May 19.
But his opposite number Farakezi refused to throw in the towel and has a strong belief in his troops as they set sights on qualifying for the finals slated for Thailand in November this year.
Farakezi said their game plan worked as they played defensive formation and managed to restrict South Africa from scoring many goals. He believes the two away goals scored by Gift Mugabe and Bernard Chipurura would be vital in the return leg.
"I have noted some weak areas that we need to work on and now I have some knowledge on how South Africa play. Also I realised that they thrive on attacking from the wings and are effective especially their key player (Charlton Stevens) who is fast and skilful," he said.
Farakezi added that Zimbabwe would attack from the onset in the second leg to try to unsettle their opponents by getting early goals while avoiding conceding.
Allies was delighted with the home team's performance and saluted goalkeeper Jermaine Taylor for thwarting Zimbabwe raids. He said it was important that they managed to get four goals at home.
Allies felt his defence went to sleep and allowed Zimbabwe to grab the two vital away goals.
Zimbabwean residents in South Africa braved the chilly weather in the evening to turn up in their numbers and cheer the squad. Some came from Krugersdorp, 30km outside Johannesburg.
Albert Nyabeza, Simbarashe Dube, Sheila Mangoma and Frank Mandiringana, summed it up after the Mozambican referee Machava Dionissio blew the final whistle. They said it was important to come and watch the country's representatives in any competition. The Zimbabweans believe South Africa will lose the second leg in Harare.
If Zimbabwe beat South Africa, they will face Libya in the third and final qualifying round. According to the draw, Zimbabwe would start away in Libya in July.
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari